Canada probes Khalistani leader Pannun's threat to blow up Air India flight: Report

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun now claims he was just calling for a boycott of Air India

Untitled design - 1 Air India flights. (Right) Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

The Canadian police have opened an investigation into the video posted by designated Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun where he warned Sikhs against flying on Air India after November 19, stating that their "lives may be in danger".

The Royal Canada Mounted Police (RCMP) is investigating the video, Toronto Star quoted Canadian Transportation Minister Pablo Rodriguez as saying. "We take every threat seriously, especially when it concerns airlines," Rodriguez added.  

"The RCMP is doing an inquiry, an investigation, and that’s all I can say for now," Rodriguez told reporters.

This comes as Pannun, in the video released last Saturday, claimed Air India would not be allowed to operate on November 19. "We are asking the Sikh people not to fly via Air India. From November 19, there will be a global blockade. Air India won't be allowed to operate. Sikh people, don't travel by Air India after November 19. Your life can be in danger," Pannun was heard in the video. 

He said that Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport will remain closed on November 19 and its name would be changed. "It is the same day in November on which the final match of the World Terror Cup will be played," he added.

However, the founder of the banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) later defended himself to Toronto Star, stating his comments were a call for a boycott of Air India due to the Indian government’s treatment of Sikhs. Pannun added that he was not making any threats and claimed the reports that appeared in Indian media were "disinformation". 

Pannun told the Toronto Star he welcomed any investigation to prove there was no threat. "The RCMP has every right to investigate a terror threat. And if they consider that calling for boycott of Air India as a civil disobedience or a movement and specifically the Indian businesses, if that is a terror, then so be it, let them investigate," he said, adding that there was no threat.  

India had raised the issue with Canada. The Ministry of External Affairs stating it would continue "to press these governments to deny space to such extremist elements."

Recently, a travel advisory issued by the British government had said that Canada was "very likely" to fall victim to terrorist attacks. Though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment on the warning, he said Canada was working to monitor risks. 

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